Solar Eclispe Memories
Don't miss the solar eclipse this evening. Great viewing in the SF Bay are: Chabot Planetarium, Lawrence Hall of Science, Academy of Sciences in San Francisco's Golden Gate Park, Lick Observatory on Mt. Hamilton and others. I am at Mt. Shasta. I'll send you photos later (smile). The program at the Mt. Shasta Resort is hosted by the San Francisco Amateur Astronomers.
Two days later.
I am still reflecting on the eclipse--the ring of fire. At the epicenter where viewing was best, we watched the moon's shadow chomp on the sun's surface until it was completely covered except for the outter ring. Black center with red highlights, it gave nuptials new meaning. I am not surprised that a man proposed to his beloveth Sunday evening.
I still see the bright ring with its black interior in my mind. As we drove to Mt. Shasta, the sky was cloudy and I wondered if we'd be able to see.
We missed the lectures and the free viewing glasses, but people shared and we were able to see the eclipse through multiple telescopes set up across the golf course. Some people sat across the man made lake and lay back and with glasses on looked at the sun. One young man grew impatient and without glasses stared at the sun and ended up hurting his eyes.
I thought about the film, Eat the Sun and the people who do sun gazing and literally eat the sun instead of food. I am not that brave. As the moon shadow inched closer and closer to the center of the sun we grew excited and at the moment of completion we stood in a circle and one of the leaders of another assembly, Sean, led the group in prayer.
For a while no one touched my shoulder and I wondered at the irony of isolation in the middle of clarity. There were four black people present, though I only saw one other besides Alan and me. The other person was from Brooklyn.
Didgeridoo and drums were played from time to time while people put stones and other sacred gems on the altar to be charged by the sun channeled through a large crystal. We also wrote wishes on a sheet of paper filled with angel prayers written in Hebrew or what looked like Hebrew script.
The next day we got up early and headed back to the San Francisco Bay Area. I am still not quite back yet. I looked at the night sky this evening and saw the Big Dipper and the Seven Sisters and other constellations I have seen before. Considering I am in the city, which means light pollution, the sky was easy to read.
I am looking forward to the weekend, where I can find a place to sit and reflect. . . maybe not write, but just be in the moment past, which I have not had the opportunity to just relax and enjoy.